Sunday, November 30, 2008

Quote of The Week, Henri- 11/30/08

Genius is not a possession of the limited few, but exists to some degree in everyone.

-Robert Henri

Sometimes I feel like I'm the smartest guy in the world, and everyone else is stupid and crazy. But more often than that, I feel like I'm the dumbest guy in the world, and everyone else is talented and a genius, privy to the joke that is the universe.

For some sick reason, both scenarios are equally funny to me.

dubs. out.

Friday, November 28, 2008

In The Literal Sense, I Suppose They Are

I have always hated the word “loser.” I think it’s one thrown around by mean-spirited middle schoolers with no regard for its true connotations of animosity and evil.

But I saw this on ffffound today and couldn’t help mysssself.

dubs. out.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Damn you Wieden...

and your crazy, brilliant, superbly-written, perfectly-acted Nike branded content.

Ironically, my partner, Matt and I are working on Starbury, the $15-shoe brand that goes against literally everything Nike, Adidas and Jordan (and their array of well-compensated endorsers) stand for.

dubs. out.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Quote of The Week, Hall - 11/23/08

A writer is someone who thinks he’s right.

-Charles Hall, VCU Brandcenter

I have a lot of esteem issues with my writing. I often feel that what I have to say is something either people don't agree with or is something they don't want to hear. I usually have to force myself to write it. Especially on this blog.

So it was nice to hear Charles give me this little nugget of wisdom earlier this week in our one-on-one meeting. He told me that all great writers--from the professors at this school to beyond--believe this, whether they know it or not. It's not arrogance. It's just injecting what you believe into the world.

If you're wrong, no one gives a shit. If you're right, it's the greatest thing there is. There is nothing to lose by saying what you think is right.

Here's some words from a guy who had a similar view.

I think there are few better words for a writer to live by than Charles'. And I think they're something I'll carry around with me for a long time.

dubs. out.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Magic of Perception

Stumbled on this site from Digg.

It shows 20-year-old model Eniko Mihalik photographed as if she were at 6 different decades of her life.

Very cool.

dubs. out.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Somewhere, a Local Media Buyer is Crying

This is a picture of the billboard across the street from the Brandcenter. It’s not photoshopped and there’s nothing missing from it.

I couldn’t make this shit up.

Sometimes the stupidity and/or carelessness of the things that go on in advertising makes me shameful for trying so hard to be a part of it.

I've seen ads with typos in ad annuals before.

This picture demonstrates why I often feel this way and makes me want to find whoever approved this and give them a good, hard smack across the face for being part of the problem.

dubs. out.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Quote of The Week, McLuhan- 11/16/08

Advertising is the greatest art form of the 20th century . . . Historians and archaeologists will one day discover that the ads of our time are the richest and most faithful reflections that any society ever made of its entire range of activities.

-Marshall McLuhan

Every now and then, when I'm working hard and immersed in some bitch of an ad campaign, the worst thing I can do to break focus is stop and think, ‘What am I working so hard for? Fuck it. It’s only advertising.’

Instead I should imagine, as McLuhan does, what my print ad for Little Debbie cakes might look like to an archeologist in the year 3214 picking up a crumpled magazine from some dusty patch of dirt in Milwaukee.

What will she think about the society in which we all lived based on that?

dubs. out.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Idea Block Blocker

This thing, from The Director's Bureau Special Projects, a creative consultancy firm, may just be what we need when our heads are hurting and our thoughts refuse to move another inch.

To play around with it or download the widget, visit here. Maybe, somehow, a revolutionary morphing hotel will be the answer you're seeking for that new smoothie client.

Special props to Husayn Raza for the find.

dubs. out.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Words Microsoft Word Continues To Underline, Despite My Protests


dubs. out.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Quote of The Week, Hegarty – /11/9/08

You get paid a large amount of money to sit in a very nice office to have lots of crazy, wacky ideas. Then those ideas are sold to a client, who pays a large amount of money to take those ideas. And then spends an absolute fortune on telling everybody about your idea. Now isn't that the biggest ego trip in the world?

-John Hegarty, BBH

Sometimes it's hard to keep your eye on the ball that is your career whilst in the middle of the storm that is ad school. So it's always refreshing to get an outside perspective. In the case of last Monday, ours came from one of--if not the greatest--ad men in the history of the business. Not only did John Hegarty speak to our school, but my roommate, Jesse and I were privileged enough to pick him up from the airport.

I was even able to meet with him one-on-one to look at some of my book.

If you had asked me 2 years ago if I ever thought I would get to show John Hegarty my portfolio, I would have laughed. Yet it wasn't until halfway through that meeting where it finally hit me, and I remember at one point being in awe of not the man, but the moment itself.

The verdict: He thought my work was "interesting," albeit a bit too far for people to go in terms of advertising. He told me I complicated things, and that I would improve once I learned to truly simplify, referencing the simple brilliance of The Economist headlines. I don't need a second opinion on that. He also told me to take out my Miss Yu ads, citing most local ads as "parochial." Needless to say, it was an awkward few seconds as I explained the meaning of the first one to him.

I make no exaggeration when I say that Mr. Hegarty was the best speaker I've seen at this school-- and we've had many good ones. I say that not just because he has a reputation unsurpassed by few living people, or because he's built one of the most famous and successful agency networks on the planet, or because he has made some of the greatest commercials of the last 25 years, or because he was knighted by the Queen. I say it because he is, very simply, a tremendously nice guy.

I have often heard that many of the greatest ad people have stepped over people and clawed their way to the top, with horror stories from those who have worked under them along the way. But I cannot possibly see anyone not wanting to work for this man, as he struck me as one of those incredibly rare people who actually cares about those around him more than he does himself.

I'll always remember throughout my career, the day a 60-year-old man, more busy and more successful and more intelligent than most of us will ever hope to become, took time out of his schedule to personally meet with a dozen ad kids, and in the process, learned the meaning of the word "milf."

dubs. out.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Perspective on a Whole New Level

This is Carl Sagan reading an excerpt from his audio book, "Pale Blue Dot."

Imagine if everyone watched this video once a week. If so, the world would have no choice but to be a better place.

Imagine if just the world's leaders did.

dubs. out.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Impossible Really Is Nothing

"That is what happened Tuesday night and that is why we awake this morning to a different country. The struggle for equal rights is far from over, but we start afresh now from a whole new baseline. Let every child and every citizen and every new immigrant know that from this day forward everything really is possible in America...... Obama will always be our first black president. But can he be one of our few great presidents? He is going to have his chance because our greatest presidents are those who assumed the office at some of our darkest hours and at the bottom of some of our deepest holes...... None of this will be easy. But my gut tells me that of all the changes that will be ushered in by an Obama presidency, breaking with our racial past may turn out to be the least of them. There is just so much work to be done. The Civil War is over. Let reconstruction begin."

-Thomas Friedman, NYT Op-Ed, Finishing Our Work

dubs. out.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Quote of The Week, Deutsch- 11/2/08

The biggest winners in the world are the people who somehow, right or wrong, are able to use their own universe as a grading system. They don’t need anybody else’s boundaries; they don’t play in anybody else’s sandbox.

-Donny Deutsch, Deutsch USA

I’m currently reading Donny’s book, Often Wrong, Never in Doubt, alternating nightly with Augusten Burroughs and Charles Bukowski in my “fill your head with simultaneous bits from different worlds” reading program.

I started reading it on a roommate’s suggestion, and to be honest, I hated it at first. To begin with, I don’t particularly like the way he writes, which is often poorly-punctuated, usually not grammatically correct, and almost always sounds like it's written by an arrogant, suburban Long Island kid still stuck in 1974. On top of this, the examples of “good work” he cited from his agency are, in my idiot student opinion, not good at all.

But when I started getting into it I realized something: The reason I didn't like him was because he was different. He wrote differently, spoke differently, thought differently. Where every other ad writer wrote humbly and downplayed his or her accomplishments, this guy just tells it like it is. He's smart and successful and he lets everyone know that he knows it.

More than anything, dude's honest.

So instead of resisting his poor grammar and annoying Long Island slang, I soon found these things refreshing. A strange, more down-to-earth way of saying something thousands before him have all said in the same, well-mannered way.

He’s got good things to say, and an interesting perspective from which to say them. He looks at the world the way I suppose all ambitious young people should. With a “do what you think is right” attitude and a “why not me” philosophy.

Why not me write brilliant ads? Why not me win lots of awards? Why not me make a shit ton of money? Why not me get promoted? Why not me get promoted again? Why not me open up my own shop? Why not me be the next big thing in advertising? Why not me be the next big thing in anything other than advertising? Why not me marry a supermodel?

Why the fuck not me?

When you live your life like that, when you arm yourself with this lack of thinking about all the boundaries and all the politics and all the things holding you down, the walls fall and the whole world opens up to you. When you think like that, your mind is free to see beyond what you think you will be and onward to what you could be.

The hard part is having the courage to think like that.

dubs. out.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Oh, Dwight.

I just received a call on my cellphone. The number said “630 Calling...”

What the hell does that mean?

I answer it. A man’s recorded voice comes on and states in exactly 30 seconds why Dwight Jones is the only mayor Richmond can trust. Then it hangs up on me.

I may actually vote for this guy simply for having the balls to do such a thing.

dubs. out.